The 10 Best Hot Chocolates in NYC
Surely one of winter's greatest treasures, a mug of hot chocolate can feel as restorative as a multi-dimensional meditative trance (FYI: nirvana looks like Beyonce eating a cronut). No matter how cold or dreary it gets, this elixir with ancient roots -- the Mayans beat us to it by at least two millennia -- has likely put more smiles on people's faces than antidepressants. Whether staying traditional with plain milk, adding complementary flavors, or spiking your murky brew with booze, New York's frigid months were made for hot chocolate. Here are the city's 10 best.
10. Martha's Country Bakery, 70-28 Austin Street, Queens; 718-544-0088
Martha's Country Bakery
This Queens-based mini-chain goes beyond the standard cup of cocoa, serving up peanut butter, red velvet, and cinnamon-inflected Mexican varieties. In business since 1972, the bakeries all sport modern design elements like exposed brick and natural wood. Still, you're more likely to find locals inhaling slices of cake than laptop-toting bloggers typing away between sips of macchiatos. The hot chocolate is smooth and rich with a light milkiness, and on occasion, you might just find a chocolate syrup smiley face staring back up at you.
9. MarieBelle, 484 Broome Street; 212-925-6999
Maribel Lieberman celebrates chocolate in all its opulence at her flamboyant SoHo shop and cafe famous for its ornate hand-painted ganache. Thirsty travelers can grab a cup to go in the powder blue shop up front, but the full range of hot chocolate options is best explored in the back cafe, where pampered pamperers pamper themselves with mesmeric drinking chocolates ranging from 60 to 80 percent cocoa content. Full of smoky fire, the chipotle and ancho-tinged spicy hot chocolate is particularly invigorating, though if you're in the market for a liquid hug, check out the decadent white chocolate and hazelnut milk chocolate varieties, which coat the palate in a blanket of dairy richness.
8. Oro Bakery & Bar, 375 Broome Street; 212-941-6368
During the day, Dorina Yuen's sliver of a space functions as a charming neighborhood cafe serving all manner of pastries, sweet treats, and coffee beverages from cortado to café au lait. Yuen's hot chocolate is sugary and mild -- perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up. At night, Oro transforms into a charming wine bar, and that hot chocolate is available spiked. We can think of plenty worse ways to while away a chilly evening than commiserating over boozy hot cocoa until it's pajama time.